Rolls Royce Science Prize

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May Blog

With the exhibition behind us, the planning team continued to move the project forward. Pupils, parents, staff and other stakeholders basked in the glow of their successes and followed the extensive local media coverage. One of the local parishes compiled a double page spread on the Marvellous Movers project and exhibition bringing it to an even wider audience.

On hearing about the success of the project, Sentinus invited the children to enter their Marvellous Movers project into the NI Junior Innovator’s Competition in June. A number of Primary 7 pupils have agreed to prepare a pitch for the competition and present it along with the models on the day.

Visiting inspectors from ETI were particularly impressed with the way the project, though STEM based, managed to encompass the width of the curriculum. They felt that it incorporated elements of literacy, numeracy, PDMU, the arts and physical education. They acknowledged the huge undertaking of organising this project, due to its scale, as it involved every single child from both schools. They were very complimentary about the innovative approach shown by the planning team. They considered the involvement of the local post primary school, Dominican College, through pupil mentoring and resource sharing as an excellent example of good practice.

With the exhibition complete, a number of school based displays were created which has allowed the children to continue to browse their work and reflect upon it in a more informal environment. They continue to be enthused by the experience, are reflective of their learning and show an understanding and knowledge of the design process from ‘explore’ through to ‘celebrate.’

The planning team got together to prepare for the final Rolls-Royce visit which will be on the 23rd May. This visit will allow Rolls-Royce the opportunity to get a first-hand overview of the project. While visiting, they will be creating a short video in preparation for the Rolls-Royce 2017 Science Award Ceremony in October of this year. Visiting the school will be, Phil Cockbill and Chris Horsley. They will also get the opportunity to meet with the pupils and staff of both schools and of course the planning team.

One of the most important tasks during May was to identify and determine the impact of the project on learning and attitudes towards STEM. The planning team collected and collated statistical information from the key participants. Firstly, pupils and staff were asked to complete an evaluative questionnaire on the project. Secondly, the perspectives of the key stakeholders were established from a focus group, thirdly evaluative verbal comments were sought by pupils and teachers on video, fourthly visitor comments were recorded at the exhibition. The focus group included 2 pupils, a teacher, a parent and a governor from each school. As a result of this, the data collected supports our own assessment that the project was a complete success. In addition, all stakeholders clearly indicated that success wasn’t limited to making a final moving vehicle; it was the learning process and journey experienced by pupils and staff that was the REAL success!

“The best bit was the scope of the project. We want to encourage their imagination and their curiosity while ensuring their ideas are achievable and realistic. It was good that the children dreamed big but they soon realised that they would have to squish these ideas to achieve a working model.” (Governor at Focus Group)

“The hardest part was choosing which design to use and how it would work. We changed it and then left it and then made changes to it again. We changed it completely about 5 times.” (Key Stage 2 Pupil at Focus Group)

The Planning Team…

Miss Pillow, Miss Gilmore Ms Murray and Mrs Quiery collated photo stills, sifted through many hours video recording, prepared a script and recorded the voice over and then pieced it all together for the storyboard to be sent to Rolls Royce media department. Something we would not have dreamt of being in the position to do at the beginning of the project! Mrs Shaw, Dr Greene and Miss McGoldrick compiled the May blog and collated all final expenses. The entire team met to analyse and interpret the data collected for use in our final evaluation submission.


In both schools, we intend to develop enquiry based learning in every classroom so as to create positive STEM experiences for all our children. It is believed that the framework provided by the planning team and the experiences presented throughout this project will have enhanced the skills and confidence of the teaching staff. This will allow them to identify opportunities to promote the teaching of STEM within real life contexts and across the curriculum. The long term aim is to ensure the delivery of a thought provoking STEM curriculum for all ages.

Following on from the success and positive feedback of the Marvellous Movers project, we will continue to work collaboratively in joint ventures. Our Board of Governors have committed to creating a subcommittee to ensure that future shared projects will be promoted, supported and celebrated. The Marvellous Movers logo will continue to be our brand identifier for these future shared ventures. We will be establishing a joint STEM club with the 2 schools and will be working together to identify shared ECO School targets. The project has successfully ensured that the children have developed informed opinions about the importance of recycling/reusing and the use of renewable energy sources. They are determined to continue to be proactive in ensuring that they are doing everything they can to make a difference to improving the environment. One idea that has already been identified has been to monitor energy efficiency within the school and the local community. We have no doubt that all our pupils will continue to keep the flame of environmental awareness lit.

Thanks to Rolls-Royce

Both schools are deeply appreciative to Rolls-Royce for the opportunity which has been offered as a result of their Science Award. The support from the Rolls-Royce team and its ambassador, Tony Sweeting has guided us through the process, keeping us on track and focused on our target. Their prize fund has allowed us to acquire a wide range of scientific resources for current and future learning. The planning team benefited from the rigor that has been a necessary evil of the deadlines of a competition, providing us with a framework and a structure to meet each stage of the process.

A Final Thanks

To everyone who supported this project - our stakeholders – whether you offered your time, your expertise or your resources – we offer you our deepest gratitude. Every word of encouragement, every idea offered, every act of kindness / support was and is valued. Your support has resulted in this marvellous project.

The completion of the Marvellous Movers project is a direct result of the commitment, enthusiasm and expertise of all the staff in both our schools. What an amazing and professional group of people to influence and lead the young people of our community. Thank you.

Finally, to all our wonderful pupils. Your energy, your creativity, your vision has been the real driving force behind this project. Each one of you has been an essential part of the design process that has resulted in the creation of a vehicle that was significant, that was special, that was MARVELLOUS. We are incredibly proud of all your efforts. You, our pupils, are the real MARVELLOUS MOVERS!

April 2017

If spring is nature’s way of declaring “Let’s Celebrate!” then the decision to hold the Marvellous Movers exhibition in the month of March was an inspired one.

The exhibition was always envisaged as a celebration of the children’s work and what a celebration it turned out to be! The support from the community behind both schools as well as the wider local community and beyond was unprecedented. Hundreds of visitors attended across the three days of the public exhibition, while thousands followed on social media. Visitors included children, parents, grandparents, the local mayor, representatives from local businesses, Government, Press, Education Authority, school governors, Dominican College and faith communities.

On the opening night there were speeches from the principals of both schools. They were effusive in their praise for the project and the benefits it had brought not just to the children but also the wider community in Portstewart. They acknowledged the sheer effort from all those involved in enabling the project to the tremendous success it had been.

Project leader, Louise Gilmore, spoke about how her vision of both schools working together had taken seed at a CPD course in the previous year and how that being Rolls Royce Science finalists had realised this. She spoke about how her original idea had been cultivated by the Marvellous Movers planning team and had grown and flourished. She thanked the children for their enthusiasm and unwavering dedication to the project and advocated the benefits of our schools working collaboratively.

Rolls Royce Ambassador, Tony Sweeting, spoke about the ambitious nature of the project and how he could see the progression of the children’s ideas from planning through to final presentation of the Marvellous Movers. He felt that the future of engineering and design was safe in the hands of our next generation if what he had seen, here in Portstewart, was an indication of the innovation and creativity that would shape our future.

Following the speeches, the exhibition was declared open with School Council and Eco-Schools representatives from both schools acting as ambassadors. They accompanied small groups and individuals around the exhibitions explaining the different stages of the project, identifying the different year groups’ work. They explained how the demands of the project changed as the pupils got older. One ‘ambassador’ was overheard telling a group;

“It is important to recognise that some of these designs from the older pupils are done to scale. The maths we used was really very advanced.”

The choice to take a professional approach to the display of the children’s work brought a different dimension to the project. The public venue, in Flowerfield Arts Centre, elevated the children’s work to a completely different level. For the children there was a real sense that this was real life, grown-up and innovative. They could see that this was a potential career that was open to them, something they would like to do. They could see that ideas, their ideas, could become reality. Our pupils had such a sense of ownership and pride in the project, in the knowledge and skills they had gained and in the friendships, they had developed.

The air of positivity and the rush of goodwill that was extended to the children and staff in equal measures made the exhibition an amazing experience for all involved. There was such pride for everyone involved – pride in getting over the line and delivering a memorable experience for participants and viewers alike.

The legacy for the children is their understanding and enjoyment of STEM – of designing, creating, testing, modifying and evaluating. Interestingly, throughout the project, the Arts have been a key teaching method, helping to “hook the interest” of children who otherwise might have lost interest in what they could have perceived as being a very science-based project. Through the very natural incorporation of the Arts, more of our pupils than we could have believed were totally invested in the project. This extends the project from STEM into STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics), fusing even more aspects of knowledge and learning. Incorporating Arts widened the projects appeal and has created an impression, among our pupils, that STEM / STEAM subjects are “really cool!

The children have also gained in their understanding of reusable and recyclable materials and in their awareness of energy efficiency. They are excited about the use of renewable sources of energy and are advocates of taking responsibility for their energy and resource consumption. One mother commented that her daughter was attempting to reorganise her schedules for after-school activities so that they wouldn’t be wasting petrol. She said;

“You know, Mum, it’s up to us to look after our world and little changes add up to big changes.”

The friendships that the children have made, within Portstewart, have been a delight to witness. Working together creates a stronger sense of community for both the adults and the children. Even the volunteers who helped with the project have recounted incidents where pupils have waved and spoke to them, outside of school. This project has created a really harmonious buzz within the community. The children already have their eyes on “What’s now?”... “What can we do next?”... “When can we get together next?” and they will ensure that collaboration continues.

Maura Hughes, NSLC trainer, was absolutely delighted at seeing how the concept of enquiry-based learning was embraced and the children were placed at the centre of the learning process.

“I was absolutely amazed at the variety and creativity of the stages involved from initial designs to the finished models which I saw. The concept of using reusable and recyclable materials as well as powering the vehicles using renewable forms of energy ensures that the children will be very aware of how to be environmentally friendly and bodes well for the future.”

Mrs. Anna Macaulay a parent and local business women commented; “Real engagement, real teamwork, real results!”

One pupil commented; “I’ve loved every minute!”

A teacher from Dominican College, Cathy McGowan, who helped arrange the mentors and is also a parent said; “What a fabulous project – as a parent it was wonderful to watch how much the children got from the experience.”

Local mayor, Maura Hickey, who had witnessed the early stages of the design process was keen to view the finished product. “What a mind-blowing experience for me. The talent is amazing from both children and teachers.

The Planning Team...

Needless to say, the planning team were all involved with setting up the exhibition. Miss McGoldrick was in charge of PR and made contact with the BBC’s Northern Ireland education correspondent Mr. Robbie Meredith who featured the project on the BBC NI website:- Mrs. Quiery co-ordinated and set up the display of children’s work, mapping the flow of the exhibition to mirror the project process from explore and investigate to create, test, modify and evaluate and was helped by a team of very willing and dedicated parent helpers from both schools. The parents from each school got to meet and work alongside each other through the preparation for the exhibition, combining their efforts to pull together the event for the entire community. Dr. Greene assisted by Miss Gilmore were involved in cataloguing the children’s work to ensure that each child from both schools was represented in some way in the exhibition through a design sheet, evaluation, photograph or working model. Mrs. Shaw was involved in writing this month’s blog and in preparing pupils for their ambassadorial role during the exhibition. Whilst Ms Murray and Miss. Pillow were involved with videoing the exhibition and hosting invited guests. During the busyness of exhibition preparations Miss Gilmore and Ms Murray were honoured to represent the Marvellous Movers project at an Enthuse awards ceremony held in Parliament Buildings, Stormont, celebrating excellence in Science teaching across Northern Ireland.

What’s Next…..

Final evaluation of project.

Wrapping things up!

                                                                                                                            March 2017

What’s been happening in March…?

The old adage of; “In like a lamb and out like a lion” in describing March could also be applied to the March phase of our Marvellous Movers’ project. As the month passed, the relative calmness of planning and designing became more business-like and on occasions frantic as everyone in both schools worked hard and hurried to ensure we met our deadlines. St Patrick’s Day was identified as D-Day - delivery day, deadline day, do-it-now day! The children, staff and volunteers of both St. Colum’s and Portstewart Primary focussed their energies and creativity to produce a “Marvellous Mover” in every group…and what an amazing end there was to this phase of our project.

Sticking to the criteria provided and spending time at the development stage of our project to create innovative yet realistic designs meant that the children had a clear vision of what their marvellous mover should finish up looking and working like. Without any specific guidance the children have designed and created modes of transport for land, wind, air and space. Colum and Stewart will go far!


Each Marvellous Mover must

  • Move
  • Carry Stewart and Colum
  • Be made from recyclable / reusable materials

Enhanced criterion (for Key Stage 2)

  • Each Marvellous Mover must be powered by a renewable source of energy

In KS2, to adhere to their advanced criteria, they have utilised air, wind, water and solar power as sources of energy, powering their Marvellous Movers. Some very ingenious Primary 7 pupils have engineered hybrid vehicles powered by both wind and solar energies. This recognises the value both schools place on promoting eco-friendly environments and is a nod to current technologies.

As the vehicles were developed, tested and evaluated; the pupils encountered problems to which they had to find solutions. Modifications were made, compromises reached, new materials found and at the end the marvellous mover, for each group, was complete. The children were at times frustrated and perplexed as things didn’t go according to plan but their excitement and anticipation sustained their involvement in the project and they persevered with their collaborative problem-solving.

“Our boat is sinking because the cardboard is getting soggy!” said a Primary 1 pupil.

“Why won’t our submarine stay underwater?” one P2 questioned while another confidently suggested, “If you put a weight at one end then it will stay underwater.”

A P5 group complained that their vehicle was too heavy for the milk bottle lids they were using as wheels. “Just use two lids and stick them together, back to back. It’ll be like tractor or digger wheels.” one of the group proposed.

Another group was heard discussing how using a helium balloon instead of an ordinary balloon would give more power to their land vehicle. “It’ll hold more air and has a bigger bit where the air comes out so it will just zoom along the floor. But don’t let anyone else know or they’ll want our idea.” A budding Formula 1 engineer in the making, we think!

Our local grammar school, Dominican College, once again provided support to the project. A number of their pupils acted as mentors and facilitators to some of our budding engineers at this – the making, testing and modifying stage of the project. Their presence seemed to add a gravitas to the process as our younger pupils simply wanted to impress these older boys and girls with their knowledge and skills.

When the Marvellous Movers were complete the children evaluated them against the criteria set and identified what pleased them about their models. They also identified what they would do differently next time or what they felt would make their vehicles better. A selection of these evaluations along with the original design sheets will also make up part of the exhibition.

At various stages throughout the process, the children have had opportunities to talk about their aspirations for the models they wanted to make and to explain and reason their choices and thinking to the other pupils in their group and on occasion to the whole year group. In addition, at the close of this making stage, each group was provided with an opportunity, appropriate to their age and developmental stage, to present their marvellous mover to the whole year group explaining how it did or did not meet the criteria.

This was a tremendous opportunity for the children to speak to a wider audience displaying their confidence in the subject area, confidently using science and design-based language. It is apparent that we have created a generation of STEM enthusiasts across the Portstewart coastline.

The children have been aware that due to space restrictions that only some of the Marvellous Movers would be incorporated into the exhibition phase of the project. Therefore the pupils were involved in voting for and selecting at least three Marvellous Movers from all those made by their year group. Their choices are going to make up part of the exhibition in Flowerfield Arts Centre, at the end of March.

Throughout the process new friendships, between pupils in both schools, were formed and tested as compromises were reached. As they worked collaboratively, the children were beginning to really know each other, recognise each other out of school and identify relationships that they want to pursue and maintain.

The Planning Team ...

A key element of this stage of the process, for the planning team, was offering support to all the staff and volunteers involved. Keeping everyone aware of what needed to be completed and providing encouragement and reassurance was a critical aspect of our work this month.

Throughout March, the planning team continued to meet. We also met in smaller groups to create evaluation proformas that were suited to the differing age groups. We needed these to reflect the set criteria and to encourage the children to identify strengths and weaknesses in their Marvellous Movers.

It was also crucial to keep a track of what stage each of the year groups were at, so as to meet our 30th March exhibition deadline. Under the guidance of Mrs Quiery, we began to catalogue the children’s designs, vehicles and evaluations. Our aim was to ensure that every group’s work would be represented and celebrated at least once in the exhibition. We worked with specific year groups collecting design sheets, evaluations, photographs and video footage.

Miss Gilmore & Miss McGoldrick continued to coordinate the whole project, working collaboratively to keep all the different aspects of the project moving forward. They spoke at staff meetings to ensure good levels of communication; they provided support to individual teachers and maintained the strong links between the schools. They facilitated the movement of the children between the schools by communicating with all our amazing volunteers. Miss Gilmore continues to oversee the budget for the project, identifying and sourcing resources. Miss McGoldrick has been developing other contacts to increase interest in the project from outside the Portstewart area.

Mrs Quiery has spent lots of time, with each of the year groups, videoing and photographing their progress. She even worked with a number of different pupils, encouraging them to take up the task of being behind the camera taking stills and video images. She continues to prepare for the exhibition - working closely with the venue; ordering and managing resources required and working with other members of staff who have come on board to add their expertise at this stage. This includes Mrs Harley, from St Colum’s, who has a background in graphic design. Mrs Harley has created our very own Marvellous Movers’ logo which she has incorporated into a range of promotional material for the exhibition. Mrs Quiery also enlisted the support of Mrs Mulholland, from St Colum’s, to assist in the setting up of the exhibition in Flowerfield.

Ms Murray, ably assisted by Miss Pillow, has been working on the video and write-up for the final submission. She continues to steer the project in a way that is ecologically sound. Dr Greene and Ms Murray are trawling through the hours of video footage and thousands of photographs to identify what is best for use, in both the exhibition and the final submission. Mrs Shaw has worked closely with Dominican College and their pupils who provided mentoring and support for the making stage of our project, has written this month’s blog and helped to organise the exhibition.

The Legacy of the Project

On Tuesday 14th March, the Board of Governors from both schools met to see how the legacy of this project could be maximised and to ensure that the opportunities initiated by the Marvellous Movers project can be sustained. They were very enthusiastic about the project and discussed a variety of different options for the future.

“I’m delighted to see the Governors show such interest in creating regular activities between the schools. Now that such good friendships and working relationships have been established between staff and pupils it would be such a shame to lose momentum”.

(Mr. Millar, Principal of Portstewart Primary School)

Coming up in next month’s blog…

Coverage of the final exhibition

Evaluation of the entire project

February Blog 2017

Since writing our last blog we’ve been inundated with visitors bringing a wide array of learning opportunities and inspiration to our enthusiastic pupils! The Marvellous Movers project has gathered real momentum. With the initial design phase complete, all pupils have had the opportunity to explore the recyclable and re-usable materials available to them and also examine the STEM principles behind what makes a vehicle move.

We were honoured to have had a visit from our local Mayor, Alderman Maura Hickey who commented: “I am proud to see the youth of this area getting so involved and working together in such a way”. Since its inception this project has been about partnership. We want to ensure that all primary school children in Portstewart benefit from the Rolls Royce sponsorship, and with the natural link with both primary schools and Dominican College, this has further consolidated the partnership aspect of the project. “This is a very encouraging sign for the future of our community and it is a fabulous accolade for the staff and pupils to have been shortlisted for the Rolls Royce Science prize.”

At the end of January we were pleased to welcome our Rolls Royce ambassador Mr. Tony Sweeting to Portstewart. During his visit, he shared with the children about his role in Rolls Royce and his career in engineering. He had the opportunity to meet every child and member of staff involved in the project and to view some STEM activities. The children were very keen to show their designs and discuss their progress to date. We hope that he thoroughly enjoyed his visit and look forward to seeing him again in March for our exhibition of work.

February has largely been taken up with the design aspect of the project. Primary 1-4 have agreed on their designs within their groups, collated their materials and started their make. 

Primary 5 continue to perfect their initial designs and are focusing on the use of wind to power their vehicles. Primary 6 are storming ahead as they have made their prototypes and are now testing and modifying their final designs. They have been investigating hydro power as a means of powering their vehicles. Primary 7 pupils have been exploring electrical circuits as well as investigating and learning about renewable energy sources and how these can be applied to their designs. They have even been considering the hybrid application of renewable sources to their vehicles! In addition to this Primary 7 pupils have had the opportunity to develop their ICT skills through exploring 3-D computer design with Mr. Andrew Donnelly. To further develop their STEM skills away from the design process, KS2 pupils have been involved in the creation of pupil surveys, efficiency measurements and graphical representation regarding our project.

We were privileged to have had a visit from Nigel Kane, a Royal Navy engineer at the beginning of the month. He worked with Key Stage 2 children, showing them how to make fans, how to measure their efficiency and improve upon it.

Following Mr. Kane’s visit he commented that “The enthusiasm of the children in the schools is infectious. This is obviously the age to introduce this subject to them!”

Now that we are in the throes of the messy phase of making, testing and then refining our vehicles the children are more engaged than ever. We are confident we are on track to finish in time.

We are grateful to all stakeholders in the project who continue to ferry the children between schools, source materials, and help to facilitate the smooth running of the entire project.

Our planning team has now allocated smaller working groups to spread the tasks of organising the exhibition, establishing the selection criteria for the exhibition catalogue, arranging PR, the organisation of classroom groupings, keeping control of resource spend, co-ordinating pupils and external parties to help, mentor and inspire. Mrs. Quiery and Mrs. Shaw are currently dividing up the tasks for the exhibition, sourcing support and materials required and liaising with the venue team; whilst Miss McGoldrick and Miss Gilmore maintain the grasp of the project its spend, logistics and co-ordination. Ms Murray continues to oversee the environmental aspect of our project, and along with Dr. Greene and Miss. Pillow, is organising the storyboard of the final video submission to capture and edit the mounting video footage ensuring we suitably represent everyone’s contributions.

Here are some comments about the project this month:

The best bit of the project is getting to make our mover with my new friends at St Colum’s!” (Primary 3 child)

“You can see some concrete relationships forming as the children are together every week now.” (Parent)

“There is no way an elastic band is ever going to move that boat!” (Primary 6 child)

“It was amazing to have a Royal Navy engineer visit our school!” (Primary 7 child)

Coming up next month:

Making, testing and modifying our designs!

January Blog:

Teachers from both schools met in January for joint staff meetings. This was to help with the organisation of resources, working groups, key visitor inspiration opportunities and the logistics of more than 450 pupils moving between two schools safely to work together on the project. It is fair to say that teachers are as excited as the pupils in this STEM learning journey! Staff are rising to the challenge of preparing lessons and responding to the questions posed by the children as they contemplate their designs.


Miss Pillow of Portstewart Primary and Dr Greene of St Colum’s Primary have been liaising on the video capture of project key events with the final submission in mind. Ms Murray has created a short animated trailer to stimulate the children’s imagination and creativity as the design phase begins. This will be delivered in assemblies and classrooms in both schools.

Whilst we write this blog we are currently preparing for a week of STEM focused activities in school. Mrs Smyth, vice principal of Portstewart Primary School, has been able to organise video interviews with some mechanical engineers to answer pupil questions and for a Computer Design expert to visit P7s to introduce computer design software to them. We are hoping for other visitors to attend including Tony Sweeting, our Rolls Royce ambassador, to inspire the children in both schools and to answer questions as they arise. On hearing about ‘Marvellous Movers’ our local council is keen to learn more about our project and a visit from the Mayor is scheduled during this week.

Mrs Quiery our parent Governor has been liaising with industry visitors and the local venue to arrange the final exhibition of work. The first exhibition planning meeting is scheduled to take place this week too. She will also arrange the PR for the STEM focused week.

Miss Gilmore, our project lead, has been keeping an eye on the budget, overseeing resource purchases, liaising with staff and monitoring progress. She also facilitated the joint staff meetings.

Miss McGoldrick is the co-ordinator of the Marvellous Mover Project in St Colum’s Primary School. She continues to ensure that all staff are briefed and up to date and have their questions answered in order to deliver the project on schedule.

Mrs. Shaw is still liaising with Dominican College regarding the possibility of their students acting as mentors to our children during the make phase of the project. She has also made enquiries with regards to STEM based CPD to ensure that all staff have the necessary knowledge, skills and confidence to maximise learning potential.

So whilst the wind and wave power is evident every day here on the blustery North Coast of Ireland, the children of our wee town are concentrating on the design phase of their project and continue to be inspired and motivated to create their ‘Marvellous Movers’!

What’s Next?

  • Moving on to the ‘Make Phase’.

What’s been happening in December…

Our pupils in P1-P4 enjoyed shared activity based sessions where they explored a range of transport related construction and play resources. From building boats to launching rockets and working out how trains and cars work they covered it all! The new resources purchased through the Rolls Royce fund enhanced this learning opportunity. This is what the children had to say:

“I made a big car. It went really fast when I pushed it!”

“I made a bus and my friends were able to fit inside!”

“My first paper aeroplane didn’t fly very far. I kept trying different ones. Finally I got one to fly really far!!”

Primary 7 pupils enjoyed a visit to the Northern Regional College, Coleraine Campus. There they saw a stripped back car and its parts, learned about power sources for vehicles and even witnessed a sea water science experiment. Here are some of their comments:

“A lady showed us an experiment which used sea water and showed it could burn up and be used as energy.”

“We got to walk under a real car which was up on a lift. It was really cool to see inside and under the car.”

“I learned what happens when you put the wrong type of fuel in a car.”

Primary 5 and 6 pupils met to work and engage with each other in small groups to collaborate and investigate how things move. They also explored what they needed to do in order to make the structure of their vehicle secure and what were the best materials to use. Children were given a range of materials from construction resources such as K'nex and Lego, to recyclable materials such as old clothes pegs, bottles, elastic bands, paper and card.

The children were really focused and enthusiastic about the workshop and commented:

“The teams that worked well together made the best vehicles.”

“I loved working with my friends from St. Colum’s. We had a great group and we made a brilliant vehicle out of our materials”.

“I loved the surprise of what was in our making box. We had to come up with our own ideas and work out how to make our vehicle move”.

“It was hard to get our wheels to move because we had fixed axles and fixed wheels”.

The collaborative groups were then given the opportunity to feedback to their respective peers on what materials they used, what they made, the challenges they faced and how they overcame them. The children are excited and keen to get started on the next stage: Design and Make!

Primary 1-7 had a visit from the local council Recycling Officer, Declan Donnelly, who discussed what and why we recycle. He was really enthusiastic and informative, giving us some pointers and tips as to what we might be able to use to build our Marvellous Movers.